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Regarding the Eisagogeus (εισαγωευς)

At Ptolemaic Law Courts

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image of Journal of Egyptian History

In viewing the documents relative to the Ptolemaic jurisdiction we come across an official with a title transcribed into Demotic, but which apparently corresponds to the Greek designation εισαγωευς. This official is mentioned in conjunction with judicial proceedings. His functions were to introduce cases before the judges and to take actions in concert with them; and his bailiff was empowered to enforce judicial decisions. Since the eisagogeus represented the central administration, we may postulate that he was regarded as a royal functionary acting as a liaison man with the law courts.

My concern is to point out an official in the pre-Ptolemaic administration who had to play the same role. In the judicial machine of Pharaonic times many a scribe played an active part, not only in writing down the records. In reality he used to act in legal proceedings from start to finish. In grave situations he had to communicate directly with the highest office in the State (that of the vizier); and even at the great council (qnbt) held by the vizier, the scribe officiated sometimes as prosecutor.

We come to the conclusion that it is likely that the position of the Hellenistic eisagogeus was no more than the continuation of a much older Pharaonic institution.


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